Dual Murders of Local Women Send Shock, Sadness and Disbelief – Can Downtown LA Help Catch a Killer?

Murders in DTLA

This week, two tragic incidents have cast a shadow over our community, leaving downtown in a state of sorrow and uncertainty. 

The deaths of two models, Nichole Coats and Maleesa Mooney, found in their downtown apartments could have investigators stumped so; it’s crucial that we stand together to ensure our safety. Disturbing patterns between the two victims have led many to believe the killer may be the same person.

The first incident unfolded when 32-year-old Nichole Coats, affectionately known as Nikki, was found lifeless inside her apartment on Eighth Street and Grand Avenue on September 10th.

According to her family, Nikki had not been in touch for several days, leading to the grim discovery. Nichole’s father, Guy Edward Coats Jr., shared the heart-wrenching moment when he found his daughter alone and deceased. “I touched her arm, and she was just like stone,” he recalled.

Family members revealed that Nikki had gone on a date just two days before, marking her last known contact.

Sharon Coats, Nikki’s mother, expressed the profound pain of losing her daughter. “I miss her so much. She was my only one,” she said. “I’m not gonna ever be able to tell her that I love her or touch her again. It hurts.”

In a deeply unsettling turn of events, another tragedy occurred when 31-year-old Maleesa Mooney was found dead inside her Bunker Hill apartment on September 12, just two days after Nikki’s passing.

Eerily, both lives shared striking similarities: they were models, lived in close proximity, and were of the same age bracket. Yet, although serial killers have been known to target “particular types” of victims, despite these unsettling coincidences, authorities have not confirmed any connection between the two cases.

The Coats family however, strongly believes that these incidents are related, and fear foul play.

May Stevens, one of Nikki’s aunts, voiced her concerns: “I just feel in my heart that there’s some foul play somewhere. Somebody’s not saying something. Somebody’s not talking.”

Isolated incidents or not, Downtown community members have to prioritize safety measures to protect themselves and the community, remain vigilant and be aware of our surroundings.

Using The Buddy System especially during nighttime outings and sharing plans and whereabouts with loved ones, especially when embarking on late-night dates or excursions.

Downtown LA has a dozen groups such as DTLA UNCENSORED, DTLA and BLK DTLA on social media that allow for some-what open communication and community engagement.

The elephant in the room is unless the parties were high tech spies callable if scaling the outside walls, someone saw something, a security camera and guard, perhaps someone where they dated, a neighbor? 

As a community beckoning for the outside world to inhabit, we must extend our support to the grieving families, and honor the memories of Nichole Coats and Maleesa Mooney with a solid dedication to community safety and an all out effort to help catch a killer.

Author: Jamie Herrera

Writer l Father of many | Master of none l events@dtla-weekly.com